End of the Road
A large “For Sale” sign is posted on the gravel road leading to the cottage where I plan to spend a week. The owners are intent on selling this place I’ve rented for many years of spring and fall retreats, where I’ve enjoyed good times with friends, family and sometimes alone.
Who would buy it? Built in the 30s, it’s not very comfortable. Its value is in the location – a view across turquoise-coloured Lake Edith in Jasper National Park with distant snow-capped peaks on the horizon.
And what will happen to it? The answer comes during my afternoon walk around the lake. Several cottages, some dating back to the early 1900s, have been torn down and replaced by large, multi-million dollar luxury homes.
I stop on the trail to chat with a man sitting on his dock at the lake’s edge. His is one of the original cottages built to house artists. Their art was shown in Eastern Canada, the United States and Europe to attract tourists to Canada’s western mountain parks.
“I see there’s a new one going up next to yours,” I say.
“Yep, you could fit my place in their garage,” he replies.
“Will you sell?”
“Nope. They’ll have to carry me out. Maybe the grandkids will be tempted by the big money.”
Late that night, I paddle my canoe out on the lake, perhaps for the last time.
reflections of a
Note: This is a revision of a piece originally published in Bottle Rockets.